Thanksgiving with my friend, Susan. She invited me over to her cozy home, knowing that I would be alone, and that I don't mind being alone. It is a delight to see her and her feline crew of four--especially Midtown, the Norwegian Forest cat that I found, as a famished and shivering kitten, at the mall where I work. He's handsome and healthy now, thanks to Susan, who promptly took him in. For a few tender moments, he allows me to stroke and hold him. But because of his temperament, he soon scurries back out into the bright, chilly afternoon.
As Susan cooks, I wash dishes to keep them from piling up, as well as peruse her slew of subscribed magazines--Time, Newsweek, The Economist, and my favorite Entertainment Weekly(!). After a while, I step out into the backyard with my organic eggnog. The yard is wild and familiar: The stunted red maple and the myriad of oaks, along with the distant catalpa and ever-present wisteria. And though it's late in the season, kudzu and pepper-vines loop through and over much of the length of the metal fence. The kitties, unseen, are at varying points in the farrago of leaves and color, reveling in the fact that they can pounce out at me at any moment.
The food, of course, is delicious. There is the tofu turkey with tamari gravy, corn souffle, cranberry sauce, pumpkin bread, and roasted brussels sprout with brown butter and almonds (looking rustic and Tuscan in the royal blue bowl). For dessert, we devour fudgy-pecan pie, topped with organic wipping cream.
The afternoon sun angles softly onto the table through the storm-doors and windows, which are steamed with aromatic condensation. Midtown sits regally on the front porch with his back to us, facing the sun-set. Perhaps he, too, is giving thanks for this blessed appearance in awareness.